Tayo AFOLABI

Following the lingering strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, students have continued protests across the country.

Students of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, trooped out in their numbers and blocked the Ijebu Ode/Ibadan express road.

Similarly, a mass of other students from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, went on a joint protest with counterparts in Ogun State, as organised under the banner of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Ogun Joint Campus Committee. They blocked the Abeokuta-Ibadan express road, around Camp-FUNAAB Junction.

In Osun, students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, led by 22-year-old Abraham Omowumi, popularly called Ewatee, resumed their second day protest on the Ife-Ibadan Express way, blocking the popular OUI roundabout at Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu, with a lot of road users left stranded.

This was also as students were still protesting in Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital where moved from the University of Ibadan to Agbowo, Sango, Mokola, etc.

One of the protesters, a former President of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun State, Soneye AbdulAzeez, said, “Vehicles going from Abeokuta to and from Ibadan are on standstill now. FUNAAB and Federal College of Education, Osiele road is lockdown as well.

“We are resilient and making a statement, the Federal Government must listen to Nigerian Students.”

The National Public Relations Officer of the Fund Education Coalition, Joseph Aliu, who was spearheading the protest at Ago Iwoye, said, “It is saddening that after series of talks, the Federal Government have failed to listen to voice of reasoning.

“Since they’ve chosen to pay deaf ears to the cries of the striking lecturers, we have no other option but to take to the streets. We are here, we’re not stopping, here’s a fight to finish.”

The Students’ Union President, OOU, Akorede Afeez, in his comments, said, “It is an impediment to the societal growth and development of this nation in general that the students have been in their houses since February 14, 2022.

“The state government should rise up to her responsibility to take charge of education and welfare of OOUiets. We demanding the reopening of our classes. Education is our right not a privilege.

“OOUites say no to Technology fee and exorbitant school fees.”

Also, the Chairman of the Fund Education Coalition, Damilare Adenola, said, “We are protesting because we are clever enough to understand that the ongoing strike is a deliberate attempt by the government to kill public education so that politicians who own private universities can thrive, and we have concluded that for the sake of the poor masses, we are not going to fold our arms and watch public education die.

ASUU strike has entered its 88th day as the meeting between the lecturers and the government ended in deadlock on Thursday.

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